Spain

Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a refreshing and cold soup made of raw and blended vegetables. It consists mainly of tomato, green pepper, and garlic mixed with olive oil, red vinegar and salt. However the recipe for this traditional dish can vary between families and regions as well as its final thickness and texture. 

It is said that originally it was only made with water, oil, vinegar and salt during the 8th century but it was not until the 16th century when the peppers and tomatoes from America were added to the recipe to reach its unique flavour. 

It started being very popular around the farmers and the workers of the factories in the south of Spain and later on, in the 19th century through the wealthier population. Nowadays, Gazpacho is widely eaten In Spain particularly during the hot summers and it is well known all over the world. 

Gazpacho may be served alone or with some garnishes like finely chopped green pepper, onion, cucumber or small cubes of bread. Whatever your preferences are, enjoy this healthy soup. 

Ingredients (6 serving) 

● 1 kg Roma tomatoes 

● 1 Green pepper 

● 1 Cucumber 

● 2 Garlic cloves 

● 50 g Leftover white bread 

● 50 ml Olive Oil 

● 30 ml Red vinegar 

● 250 ml Water 

Instructions 

1. Fill up a big pot with water, set over high heat, bring to a boil and reserve. 

2. Make an X with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath and allow to cool until able to handle, approximately 1 minute. Remove from the water, peel and chop the tomatoes. 

3. In a large bowl add the tomatoes, green pepper, cucumber and garlic clove. With a blender puree them to high speed. 

4. Soak the leftover white bread with water and rinse it out completely with your hands. Add the bread to the soup ingredients and puree. 

5. Slowly add the olive oil, the red vinegar and salt to the mixture and stir until combined.

6. Cover and chill until served.

Rabo de toro - Oxtail stew

Oxtail is the culinary name for the tail of cattle. It is a gelatin-rich meat, which is usually slow-cooked as a stew with vegetables until it is very tender. 

This easy Rabo de Toro recipe is a Spanish classic throughout the country although it is allegedly inspired in Cordoba, Andalusia; very popular also in Madrid because of its famous bullfights. 

It actually dates back to Roman times but it was not until the middle of the 19th century, when the recipe began to form part of the Cordovan menus, probably due to the popularity of bullfighting. 

After each bullfighting celebration, the most humble families of the city used to wait for the cattlemen to give them tails, ears and the rest of the cattle, reserving the noblest parts for themselves. 

Cooking rabo de toro takes a lot of patience, but if you wait long enough the rewards are delicious! I certainly encourage you to prepare it at home. 

Ingredients (serves 6) 

● 2 Oxtails cut into pieces 

● 2 Large onions (180 gr.) 

● 1 Bay leaf 

● 4 Black peppercorns 

● 2 Clove 

● 250 gr. of carrots 

● 2 Glasses of Montilla-Moriles Spanish wine (or red wine instead) 

● 3 or 4 Litres of water 

● Salt 

Instructions (To allow the flavours to settle, cook it a day in advance) 

1. Fill up a large pot with cold water and add the pieces of oxtail. They must be well covered with water (about 3 litres or more) 

2. Bring it to a boil and scoop off the fat and the scum floating. 

3. Peel the whole onions and stick one clove in the pulp of each onion. 

4. Peel, wash and cut the carrots in half and then lengthwise. 

5. Add the onions, the peppercorns, the bay leaf, the carrots, the wine and salt to the pot. 6. Bring it to a boil with the lid off, half-cover it and reduce to a very slow simmer. 7. Simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Check the cooking liquid levels frequently to make sure there’s no 

burning on the bottom. You’ll know it’s finished when the sauce has reduced, and the oxtail is super tender. It should be falling off the bone! 

8. Served very hot with fries in small cubes.

Torrijas de Santa Teresa

Torrijas, also called torejas or tostadas depending on the area, were already spoken about in Roman times. Recipes from the 1st century AD written by the Roman gourmet Marcus Gavius Apicius already mentioned a dessert very similar to torrijas. 

The first recipes as they are known today date back to the Book of Cozina by Domingo Hernández de Maceras (1607) and Art of cooking, pastry, biscuits and canning by Francisco Martínez Motiño (1611). This dessert is typically made throughout Lent in Spain since it is a satisfying and caloric food that compensates for the periods of abstinence from other foods. 

Ingredients (serves 4) 

● 4 slices of loaf of bread ● Milk 

● 1 egg 

● Sugar ( or honey ) 

● Sunflower oil 

Instructions

1. Wet the loaf of bread with milk, pass it through beaten egg and fry in plenty of pretty hot sunflower oil. 

2. Turn it over so that it is golden on both sides, remove it and leave it on a paper towel. 3. Sprinkle the toast with sugar and let it cool before serving. 

4. Instead of sugar, you can also make them with honey.

Churros 

The history of churros is unknown, yet there are many theories as to the origin of this typical dish. It's simple ingredients and cooking method already hint to its old age. Many historians believe that this dish originates in ancient Egypt, as multiple art pieces have been found where a similar recipe is being created. Furthermore, there is a dish that is still prominent in the Mediterranean that is very similar to the churro. Therefore the real origin of this dish is still unknown, but the taste still satisfies thousands every day.

 

Ingredients for Chocolate Sauce (serves 4) 

● 200 gr. dark chocolate, chopped ● 100 ml double cream 

● 100 ml whole milk 

Instructions 

1. Put all the ingredients into a pan 

 

2. Let them melt together, stirring from time to time. 

Ingredients for Churros (serves 4) 

● 1/2 cup sugar 

● 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar 

● 1 cup water 

● 1/2 tsp salt 

● 1 quarts sunflower oil 

● 2 Tbsp olive oil 

● 1 cup all purpose flour 

Instructions 

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, put the water, 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, salt and 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar. 

2. Bring the mixture to boil and remove from heat. 

3. Stir in the flour and mix until it forms a ball. 

4. Spoon dough into a heavy-duty plastic bag fitted with a large star tip. 

5. Heat 2 quarts of oil in a deep pan over a high flame until the oil reaches 375°F (190°C) 6. Squeeze a 5 inch (13 cm) length strip of dough into the pan. Repeat; process frying 4 churros at a time. 

7. Fry them until they become brownish on all sides 2-3 minutes per side .

 

8. Using a slotted spoon, transfer churros to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. 9. Roll churros in ½ cup sugar. 

10. Serve with warm chocolate sauce.

Sangría

Sangría, one of the most popular Spanish iced drinks, is a delicate, refreshing, and sweet mix of red wine, chopped local fruit and other ingredients or spirits (although there is no official recipe). 

It’s believed that the earliest versions of sangría date back to 2,000 years ago with the Romans, who used to fortify contaminated water with wine, spices, and herbs. However, it was not until the 18th century when versions of what we now know as saa started to be very popular. 

Sangria is a colourful party in a glass to enjoy with your family or your favourite friends. The perfect afternoon or evening drink on a summery day. 

Ingredients:

● 1 (750 ml) Bottle of red wine (choose an inexpensive wine) 

● 1 Cup of lemon juice or pop 

● 1 Cup of orange juice or pop 

● 1 Lemon, sliced 

● 1 Orange, sliced 

● 1 Peach, diced 

● 1/4 Cup of white granulated sugar (optional) 

● 1 Cinnamon stick 

● 1/2 Cup of brandy (optional) or rum 

● Ice, a lot 

Instructions 

1. Slice the lemon and the orange, dice the peach and reserve. 

2. In a large pitcher combine wine, orange juice, lemon juice, brandy (or rum), cinnamon stick and sugar then stir in oranges, lemons and peaches. 

3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to let the flavours meld together.

Roscon de Reyes 

The roscón de reyes has its origin in the 2nd century BC. when "Las Saturnales" were celebrated, a pagan celebration in honor of Saturn, the god of crops. All people, both rich and slaves, celebrated the end of the darkest period of the year and the beginning of a time full of light. At that time it was common to prepare various dishes for the celebration, although of all the most popular was a honey-based cake in which some nuts, dates and figs were introduced. A century later, that same cake included a bean, a symbol of prosperity and fertility at that time. In this way, whoever found the bean was augured good prosperity for the rest of the year and served as king of kings for a short period of time. However, the tradition did not last long because when the Christian religion assumed power and pagan celebrations such as Saturnalia gradually disappeared, the custom of eating bean cake also disappeared, although not for long. Some centuries later, the traditional cake with beans returned, but this time to Spain, by the hand of Felipe V. However, it was no longer the same cake of the Saturnalia festivals because instead of including only beans, gold coins were also incorporated. Thus, whoever found the coins won the prize, while whoever found the bean was considered a loser and, therefore, was predicted to have bad luck throughout the year. 

For the pre-ferment 

● 100 gr. strength flour 

● 45 gr. of sugar 

● 65 ml. warm milk 

● 25 gr. fresh yeast 

For the mass 

● 325 gr. strength flour 

● 125 gr. wheat flour 

● 100 gr. of butter 

● 45 gr. of sugar 

● 45 ml. orange juice 

● 25 ml. lemon juice 

● 25 ml. rum 

● Zest of 1 lemon 

● Zest of 1 orange 

● 5 ml. of orange blossom essence. 

● 3 eggs size M 

● a pinch of salt 

To decorate 

● 1 egg 

● Candied fruits 

● Whipped cream

Instructions 

 

1. We will start this delicious roscón by preparing the pre-ferment. For this we are going to add the sugar in the warm milk and stir a little so that it dissolves. 

2. Next we add the crumbled fresh yeast and stir until there is no trace of the yeast. 3. Now we pour this mixture into a larger bowl and add the flour and with the help of a spatula, we are going to stir until we get a very sticky dough. 

4. When we have it ready, we cover it and we will let it ferment for about an hour. 5. After the hour, we are going to prepare our dough for the roscón de reyes, and for that we are going to put in our mixer, the pre-ferment and little by little add all the rest of the ingredients except the butter. If you do not have a mixer, you can do it by hand without problem, the only thing being a very sticky dough, it will be a little more difficult. 

6. Once we have introduced all the ingredients we are going to knead and when we see that we already begin to have a bonded dough, we add the butter at room temperature and knead until it is completely incorporated. 

7. Once we have a smooth dough that sticks very little, we are going to grease a bowl with a lid and we are going to let it rise for between 1 and 2 hours. If you want it very fluffy, we recommend letting it rest for 2 hours. 

8. After the rising time, we are going to degas the dough by kneading it. And we will cut it in two, since this recipe makes two 400 gr roscones. 

9. Next we are going to stretch the dough with the rolling pin and we are going to give it a rectangular shape. We should have a fairly thin dough(Circa 0.5mm thick). 

10. When we have it we will start to roll it from the widest end. And when we have it all rolled up, we are going to give it a circular shape joining the two ends. 

11. To join them, we will open one of them a little and introduce the other end inside it. So that the dough is hugged. 

12. Now we put it on a sheet of baking paper, crush it with our hands or a roller and let it rise until it doubles in volume, approximately 1h. 

13. After rising, we are going to decorate it, so first of all, we brush the roscón with the beaten egg. Next, we are going to put the candied fruits. 

14. And now we have to bake it at 180ºC for 20 minutes. 

15. Once our roscón is baked, we will remove it from the oven and put it on a rack to cool completely. 16. When we have the roscón at room temperature, we cut it in half(if we are going to fill it) and fill the bottom layer with whipped cream(this is also the moment where we add the bean and the king into the filling). 

17. Now we only have to cover it with the top layer to finish the Roscon.

Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Omelette)

In 1798, the tortilla de patatas was created by Jose de Tena Godoy and Marquis de Robledo in Villanueva de la Serena, Badajoz. Its creation was an accident. Potatoes were used instead of flour due to the high price of flour. 

There are as many ways to do it as there are cooks. 

Ingredients (serves 6) 

● 105 ml. of olive oil  

 

● 1000 gr. of potatoes peeled and sliced season with salt 

● 6 large onions, peeled and sliced in brunoise 

● 14 large eggs 

● Salt 

Instructions 

1. Heat 100 ml. of oil in a pan over low heat. 

2. Caramelize onions about 60 minutes on medium-low heat. 

3. Add potatoes to the caramelized onions and continue cooking covered on low heat, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft and tender(Circa 60 min) 

4. Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl and whisk up by hand with a fork. 

5. Mix the fried potatoes and onions with eggs. 

6. Taste to adjust salt. 

7. Heat 2.5 ml. of oil in the pan over medium heat. 

8. Pour the mixture into the pan. 

9. Keep it on the heat for about 3 minutes, moving the pan from time to time to avoid it sticking.

10. Flip the tortilla onto a plate. Pour the remaining oil and slide it back into the frying pan. (Use a large plate, it must be larger than the circumference of the frying pan, to help you flip the tortilla).

11. Cook until completely set. 

12. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Paella Valenciana Mixta 

The word paella means frying pan, in Valencian. According to experts, this dish arose in the rural areas of Valencia, between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, due to the need of peasants and shepherds for an easy meal to prepare and with the ingredients they had on hand in the field. They always ate it in the afternoon. There is another, much more romantic theory, which went along the lines of: Once upon a time a man prepared paella for his girlfriend to win her love. In Spanish paella can be a derivation of “Por ella” “Para ella”, that means “for her”. Although this may just be a nice story, there is some truth, since in Spain women generally cook, however, paella is traditionally a man’s job.

Ingredients (serves 6) 

● A 46 cm Diameter pan 

● Olive oil 

● 500 gr. Chicken, cut in small blocks 

● 250 gr. Pork ribs, cut per bone 

● 300 gr. Green beans between flat and round ● 300 gr. Mature tomatoes, cut into very blocks ● 1/2 Green pepper, cut in thick slices 

● 1/2 Red pepper, cut in thick slices 

● 1 Head of garlic, crush all the garlic cloves with a knife ● 7 Large shrimps in the shell 

● 30 Prawns raw and peeled or also with shell ● 300 gr. Squid rings 

● 600 gr. Rice 

● Salt 

● Pepper 

● Saffron 

● 1 TBSP Sweet paprika 

● 2.5 Liter of Water 

● 1 Liter fish broth 

Instructions Sofrito: 

 

1. Put the oil in the pan to cover about a third of the base and set the pan on medium heat 2. Add all the garlic cloves to the pan 

3. Add the meat and let it brown. Move it to the outer circumference of the paella pan 4. Fry the shrimp with shell and remove them from the pan completely 5. Fry the peeled prawns and remove them

 

6. Sauté the squid and separate them towards the outer circumference of the paella (along with the chicken and pork) 

7. Pour in the green and red pepper and let them soften a little 

8. Pour in the green beans and fry them together with the pepper 

9. Make space in the center of the pan and subsequently pour in the tomato and continue to fry 10. Mix well all the sauce 

11. When the vegetables begin to soften, pour the sweet paprika (a tablespoon) 

Cooking Instructions: 

1. Add the fish broth and the water to the paella pan on high heat, add salt and wait for it to boil. 2. Let it boil for 25 min 

3. Add saffron and more salt, mix it well and let it boil for 10 min more 

4. Add the rice and distribute it well, while bringing it to a boil for 10 min 

5. Reduce the heat gradually, and add the shrimp which were previously removed. Let it boil for an additional 8-10 min. 

6. Try the rice, it should be al dente 

7. Remove from heat and let stand cover with a dish towel for 5 min

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